(Corrects headline to say $500 mln loan, not $500)
CAIRO Dec 18 Egypt's second-largest state-owned
lender, Banque Misr, signed a memorandum of understanding with
the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC)
for a $500 million loan aimed at boosting dollar liquidity and
financing joint Egyptian-Chinese projects, it said on Sunday.
The bank also signed a framework agreement worth $500
million with the China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation
(SINOSURE), a state-funded insurance company that promotes
China's foreign trade and economic cooperation.
Banque Misr has received permission from the People's Bank
of China to open an office representing it in China, it said.
Egypt and China concluded an 18 billion yuan ($2.62 billion)
three-year bilateral currency swap earlier this month, a move
that importers and economists said would facilitate trade and
improve foreign currency liquidity in cash-strapped Egypt.
China has carried out swaps with more than 30 central banks
around the world to increase the use of the yuan as a global
reserve currency and to stimulate bilateral trade.
Egypt has struggled to revive its economy since a popular
uprising in 2011 drove away tourists and foreign investors,
major sources of foreign currency. Reserves tumbled from $36
billion in 2011 to around $16.56 billion at the end of last
(Reporting by Nadia El Gowely; Writing by Ahmed Aboulenein;
Editing by Robin Pomeroy)